Members of the NKU support group Colours of Pride held a panel and group discussion on issues regarding minorities within the LGBTQ community as part of Norse Pride Week.
On Wednesday afternoon, Colours of Pride, a student initiated, collaborative effort to support & improve campus climate for LGBTQPIA persons of color and minority status through intentional educational programming. Other awareness raising efforts examined diversity within the LGBTQ community, or the lack thereof, as well as the misrepresentation of people of color.
“I didn’t have anybody that identified with being gay, that was of my color, who I could truly look at and say ‘OK, they’re like me,’” Tyler White, a member of Colours of Pride who helped organize the event, said.
The panel began with a slide show on the recent popular twitter hashtags #BlackLivesMatter and #StayWoke.
White, as well as Marcel Hughes, a junior studying social work and women’s gender studies, examined how these social media movements have become more popular as punchlines or running jokes.
The group also discussed intersectionality.
Hughes defined intersectionality as “the manifestation of multiple oppressions in one person,”
”I don’t just experience oppression as a black man,” Hughes said. “I also experience oppression as a gay man and those oppressions aren’t separated, they happen at the same time and they interact with each other.”
“My experience as a gay person is completely different than someone who isn’t black,” Hughes said. “Just like the experience of a person who is disabled and transgender is completely different from a person who isn’t disabled.”
Members of Common Ground, Colours of Pride and other NKU students were in attendance.
Terisa Andrews, a freshman studying secondary education in mathematics, thought the event was eye-opening.
“It’s definitely a learning experience for people,” Andrews said. “It was nice for the black community to come in as well and share their stories.”
Other topics discussed included unsupportive friends and family, interracial relationships and stereotypes associated with how one identifies. Those in attendance told stories about openly racist or homophobic family members. Several people of color raised their hands when asked if they had been told that the LGBTQ community was a “white people thing”.
Hughes was very happy with the stories told and conversations started by the panel.
“It showed that people are interested in being allies to queer people of color and people across multiple identities, and that these conversations are needed,” Hughes said.